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Common-Law Partners

PME INTER Notaires > Common-Law Partners

In Québec, nearly 38% of couples live in a common-law relationship and declare themselves to be common-law couples. They have no legal protection in case of death or separation. Despite popular belief, common-law partners are not as well protected as married people.

Did You Know ?

  • Without a will, your common-law partner will never inherit your assets, regardless of the length of your relationship.
  • In the event of a separation, the common-law partner with the lowest income cannot receive support payments unless it is provided for in a notarized agreement between common-law partners.
  • If you become unfit to take care of yourself and your property, your partner will not automatically be the one who can take care of you and see to the administration of your property.

Agreement Between Common-Law Partners

To better protect yourself, be sure to consult our family law experts. They will be able to inform you of the civil and tax consequences of your status and, if necessary, suggest that you conclude a notarized agreement establishing the rules that should govern your union.


The content of such an agreement may vary depending on the topics you wish to address. As an indication, an agreement between common-law partners may provide for:

ownership rights of the shared residence;

the administration and disposition of the property during the cohabitation;

the fate of the shared residence in case of separation or death, for example by granting a priority purchase right to the former partner;

establishing the right to support payments between common-law partners in the event of separation;

the division of property following a separation.

For more information, contact us today.